POLITICAL WIRE’S HEADLINES – 11/29

Cain Faces Another Allegation

Herman Cain told CNN that another woman will come forward to accuse him of having an extramarital affair over 13 years.

Said Cain: “I wanted to get out in front of it. I have nothing to hide, I have done nothing wrong.”

However, Cain’s lawyer issued a statement to Fox 5 Atlanta that was less-than-helpful:

“This is not an accusation of harassment in the workplace — this is not an accusation of an assault — which are subject matters of legitimate inquiry to a political candidate. Rather, this appears to be an accusation of private, alleged consensual conduct between adults — a subject matter which is not a proper subject of inquiry by the media or the public. No individual, whether a private citizen, a candidate for public office or a public official, should be questioned about his or her private sexual life.”

 

Casey Still Leads His GOP Rivals in Pennsylvania

A new Public Policy Polling survey in Pennsylvania find Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) leading all of his possible GOP rivals by double-digits, though he doesn’t match his 17 point margin of victory against Rick Santorum in 2006.

Sam Rohrer (R) comes closest but still trails Casey by 11 points, 47% to 36%.

 

Bruning Tops Nelson in Nebraska

A new Magellan Strategies poll in Nebraska finds Attorney General Jon Bruning (R) leading Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE) by six points, 45% to 39%.

In other possible match ups, Don Stenberg (R) edges Nelson, 41% to 40%, while Nelson tops Deb Fischer, 41% to 35%.

 

s Karl Rove an Evil Genius?

Walter Shapiro: “There is no doubt, certainly, that Rove is influential. But, as I spent time speaking to insiders from both parties about him, I initially struggled to pin down the exact nature of his resurgent influence. The classic line on Rove has always been that his political instincts are unrivaled by any Republican since the heyday of his mentor, Lee Atwater. Yet, while Crossroads undoubtedly played an important role in the 2010 campaign by flooding the airwaves with ads for Republican Senate candidates, the only thing memorable about these ads was their omnipresence.”

Said GOP strategist Matthew Dowd: “The whole Rove brand as an evil genius is wrong. Karl is neither.”

 

Rubio Keeps Eye on 2016

Howard Kurtz says Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) insists he’s not interested in a vice presidential bid in 2012, noting that his party can’t solve its Hispanic problem just by drafting “a person whose name ends in a vowel.”

However, while his aides welcome the veep chatter “because it gives him a larger megaphone,” they want “to preserve his option of running for president in 2016 — which Rubio would forfeit if his ticket beat President Obama this time around.”

 

Americans Would Pick Obama Over Bush

A new 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair poll finds President Obama would beat former President George W. Bush in a hypothetical election match up, 40% to 31%, with 27% picking neither

 

Placing Blame for Supercommittee Failure

With the supercommittee’s inability to agree on a debt reduction package last week, John Avlon crunches the numbers and explains why Republicans deserve the most flak.

 

Political Ad of the Day

A bizarre web video from Pennsylvania U.S. Senate candidate Steve Welch (R) explores the possibility that Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA) and President Obama were “separated at birth.”

The spot’s highlights include a dramatic soundtrack, telegenic host, and fake experts in behavioral science, statistics, and body language.

See more…

 

Clinton Will Play “Major Role” Once Leaving Office

Bill Clinton told Newsmax about Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s future career plans.

Said Clinton: “I think she wants — and she has said publicly — to continue a lot of the work that she’s done, she did as a private citizen, as first lady, as senator and as secretary of state. Around the world, she’s done an enormous amount of good in, you now, the so-called soft power areas, empowering women and girls, helping them, giving them access to capital, helping them make a living, promoting better healthcare practices.”

He added: “I think she will have a major role to play in the nongovernmental world. That’s what she plans to do, and I think she’ll do it well.”

 

Gingrich Holds Lead Nationally

A new Majority Opinion Research poll finds Newt Gingrich leading Mitt Romney, 32% to 23%, followed by Herman Cain at 14%, Ron Paul at 6%, Rick Perry 5%, Michele Bachmann 4%, Jon Huntsman 3%, “someone else” at 4%, and no opinion at 11%.

 

Frank Will Not Run Again

Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) will not run for re-election for a 17th term. He’ll hold a press conference at 1 pm ET to discuss his decision.

A close adviser tells the Boston Globe that “the new district in which Frank would have had to run next year was a major factor in his decision. While it retained his Newton stronghold, it was revised to encompass more conservative towns while Frank also lost New Bedford, a blue-collar city where had invested a lot of time and become a leading figure in the region’s fisheries debate.”

Roll Call: “Some possible candidates for his newly redrawn seat include City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, who recently dropped his Senate primary bid, and former Chairwoman of the Brookline Board of Selectman Deborah Goldberg.”

 

Why the Gingrich Surge is Different

Charles Franklin notes that Newt Gingrich’s rise in the polls is quite different than the surges experienced by Michele Bachmann, Rick Perry and Herman Cain.

“His recognition levels have remained at the top of the field, along with Romney’s, at 80-90% with only the slightest of upward trends. This means none of the Gingrich favorability trend is due to new-found visibility, as it is for all the rest save Romney and (to a lesser degree) Paul. Rather Gingrich’s trends show that even as a well known figure public affect for him is uniquely variable.”

“While others rose and fell, since his nadir in early July Gingrich has slowly but steadily rebuilt his support among Republican voters. From his low of +10 Gingrich has now risen to just a shade under +40, a whisker ahead of Romney for best net favorability among the field. And for the mercurial Gingrich it is notable that this success was achieved through steady progress rather than a sudden bounce.”

 

Five Weeks to Go

With just 36 days until the Iowa caucuses, First Read sums up the state of the Republican presidential race:

“1) Mitt Romney remains the overall favorite — with his money, campaign staff, and poll position — but he hasn’t been able to pull away from the field, and he’s a TV ad away from being all-in in Iowa; 2) Newt Gingrich, fresh off from his New Hampshire Union Leader endorsement, has emerged as the latest Romney alternative, but the question is whether he can survive the next 36 days; (none of the OTHER anti-Romneys has lasted longer); 3) Rick Perry’s campaign appears stuck in neutral, though he did receive an endorsement from controversial Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio; 4) Ron Paul keeps on doing his thing, and is enlisting college students to help out his Iowa ground game; 5) Herman Cain is trying to bounce back from his foreign-policy stumbles and those sexual-harassment allegations; and 6) with all the twists and turns that we’ve seen so far, the next five weeks (and beyond) promise to be a wild ride.”

“Bottom line: We don’t know how Romney is denied the nomination, but we also don’t know how he gets there, yet.

 

Fed Gave Big Banks $13 Billion in Secret Funding

The Federal Reserve and the nation’s largest banks “fought for more than two years to keep details of the largest bailout in U.S. history a secret. Now, the rest of the world can see what it was missing,” Bloomberg reports.

“The Fed didn’t tell anyone which banks were in trouble so deep they required a combined $1.2 trillion on Dec. 5, 2008, their single neediest day. Bankers didn’t mention that they took tens of billions of dollars in emergency loans at the same time they were assuring investors their firms were healthy. And no one calculated until now that banks reaped an estimated $13 billion of income by taking advantage of the Fed’s below-market rates.”

“A fresh narrative of the financial crisis of 2007 to 2009 emerges from 29,000 pages of Fed documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act and central bank records of more than 21,000 transactions. While Fed officials say that almost all of the loans were repaid and there have been no losses, details suggest taxpayers paid a price beyond dollars as the secret funding helped preserve a broken status quo and enabled the biggest banks to grow even bigger. ”

 

Obama Sets Swing State Travel Record

When President Obama visits Pennsylvania this week to promote his jobs package, “he’ll log his 56th event in a presidential battleground state this year, putting him well ahead of President George W. Bush’s record-breaking swing-state travel in 2003,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“Mr. Obama’s extensive travels this year have opened the president to criticism from Republicans that he is intertwining campaigning and governing at a time when he has called for bipartisanship on intractable national problems. Most of the cost is typically born by taxpayers.”

It’s another sign the permanent campaign continues.

 

Mitt vs. Mitt

The DNC released a brutally tough ad further defining Mitt Romney as a flip-flopper. It’s running on cable and broadcast stations in Virginia, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin.

An extended web-only version of the ad is equally brutal.

See more…

 

Romney Once Proposed Amnesty Too

Bloomberg reports that Mitt Romney, who claimed Newt Gingrich proposed “amnesty” for certain illegal immigrants, “took a nearly identical position in a 2006 Bloomberg interview, saying some foreigners who entered the U.S. illegally should be allowed to remain and gain legal status.”

Romney “told reporters and editors in Bloomberg News’s Washington bureau that the 11 million immigrants who entered the U.S. illegally ‘are not going to be rounded up and box-carred out.’ Law-abiding people who pay taxes, learn English and don’t rely on government benefits should be allowed to ‘get in line’ to apply for citizenship, he said.”

Said Romney: “We need to begin a process of registering those people, some being returned, and some beginning the process of applying for citizenship and establishing legal status.”

 

An Endorsement That Keeps Giving

While the yesterday’s endorsement of Newt Gingrich by the New Hampshire Union Leadermade no mention of Mitt Romney and allowed that Gingrich was not perfect, publisher Joe McQuaid told Politico that they “would reprise their tradition of near-daily editorials that reiterate full-throated support for their favored candidate and equally robust opposition toward his challengers.”

Said McQuaid: “I think we will be sticking with our traditional approach.”

 

Anti-Romney Effort in Iowa Stalls

“An apparent effort to craft a unified Republican caucus endorsement among several of Iowa’s social-conservative advocacy groups and evangelical pastors began last Monday, but its prospects already appear uncertain,” the Des Moines Register reports.

“A follow-up meeting initially scheduled for today has been postponed, with no indication of when it will be rescheduled, according to a meeting participant.”

 

Which Senate Election Records Will Be Broken in 2012?

The Hotline: “Senate Democrats are clearly more exposed than Republicans this cycle, but it’s easy to forget how historic some of these GOP pick-ups would have to be. For instance, Republicans haven’t controlled both Nebraska Senate seats since 1976, nor both in North Dakota since 1960, nor both in Wisconsin since Joe McCarthydied in 1957. On the other hand, no Democratic senator has been successfully re-elected in Missouri since 1980 or Pennsylvania since 1962. How many of these records will be broken next year?”

 

Arizona’s Controversial Sheriff to Endorse Perry

NBC News has confirmed that Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, will endorse Rick Perry this week.

The Arizona sheriff is known as a vehement backer of tough immigration laws and was a vocal supporter of his own state’s controversial enforcement laws.

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